Selecting the Right Virtualization Technology

What’s New

Updated to include coverage of Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), this guide walks the reader through the process of selecting the right virtualization technology for each workload—in seven steps or fewer. This enables the reader to quickly move from technology selection to the design process for the virtualization infrastructure, using the most appropriate IPD guide.

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About This Guide

The Selecting the Right Virtualization Technology guide enables you to rapidly and accurately select which Microsoft virtualization technology or technologies to use for specific scenarios. There are several different forms of virtualization that need to be understood as a basis for making the right technology choice. This guide addresses the decision steps that need to be taken in order to select the best virtualization approach for specific application requirements. The most effective decision points in the sequence are presented for determining which virtualization technology should be used. When considering virtualization for multiple applications, you should iterate through the entire process individually for each type of application. 


Figure 1. Decision flow chart

The Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide for Selecting the Right Virtualization Technology includes the following seven-step process:

Step 1: Determine Whether Virtualization Is Appropriate. This step involves determining whether virtualization is appropriate for a specific situation.

Step 2: Categorize the Workload. This step involves determining whether the workload is designed to run on a Windows Server–based server or on a client computer.

Step 3: Select Server Hardware or Server Software Virtualization. This step involves determining which product will deliver the most appropriate platform for virtualization, based on the technical needs of the environment.

Step 4: Determine Client Connectivity. This step focuses on narrowing the options for virtualization, based on the network requirements of client computers.

Step 5: Determine Workload Location. This step involves determining where the workload should be run.

Step 6: Select Desktop or Session Virtualization. This step involves choosing between session virtualization and desktop virtualization.

Step 7: Choose Application Virtualization or Virtualization on the Desktop. This step involves determining whether the workload being considered is better implemented in application virtualization or in virtualization on the desktop.

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